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Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-not-all-idiots-are-savant dept.

Science 808

D1gital_Prob3 writes "How can a 'smart' person act foolishly? Keith Stanovich, professor of human development and applied psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada, has grappled with this apparent incongruity for 15 years. He says it applies to more people than you might think. To Stanovich, however, there is nothing incongruous about it. IQ tests are very good at measuring certain mental faculties, he says, including logic, abstract reasoning, learning ability and working-memory capacity — how much information you can hold in mind."

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419 Scams (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980872)

419 Scammers are probably the best supporting evidence of this research.
Countless rich, intelligent people throwing away vast amounts of cash.

Re:419 Scams (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981290)

...being scammed by negroid Nigerians. Did you intentionally not finish your statement, racist?

Re:419 Scams (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981500)

More importantly, why do African Americans as a group do so much worse on IQ tests? I don't buy the argument that IQ tests are biased towards Western culture seeing how African Americans have lived in the USA for many generations and have grown up within that same culture.

Re:419 Scams (1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981390)

Rich people generally aren't intelligent.

In fact, the vast majority of them are fucking imbeciles.

The vast majority of money the rich have is old money. No need to work hard or try to learn when daddy will buy you whatever you want.

The vast majority of money the rich have that isn't old money is celebrity money. Why work hard or learn when you rake in cash for acting?

Hell, why bother acting when you have tits?

Hell, why bother directing or writing when you can just hire some tits and explosions?

In summary, rich people are stupid, because being stupid is easy, and the rich have it easy. The rest of us have to put up with their crap.

Re:419 Scams (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981474)

If the dumb are rich and the smart are poor, why aren't the smart acting dumb to get rich? Are they too dumb to do that? And if they are dumb, then how come they're not rich?

I have a headache now, thanks to you.

i have an iq of 135 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29980890)

and i just got the f p. ^_________________^

allso, goat see.

you are now breathing manually.

Re:i have an iq of 135 (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980992)

IQ of 135, and you still missed the first post.
Stop corroborating the author!

A quick and accurate intelligence test (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981466)

I read about this recently, tried it with several of my coworkers, and it really works. Simply lift your keyboard over your head while defocusing your eyes so the G and H keys overlap.

What do you see there?

Re:A quick and accurate intelligence test (2, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981592)

I can't see anything! All the keyboard crud fell into my eyes you insensitive clod!

major difference (1, Offtopic)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980892)

There is a huge difference between being intelligent and having experience. The smartest 5 year old in the world may not be able to explain why you wait for someone to turn left before you go, even though they have their turn signal on!

Re:major difference (1)

boaworm (180781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981532)

True, there is a big difference between intelligence and being "smart". But what i find truly amazing is that someone who probably sees himself as a "smart" and/or "intelligent" person can spend 15 years of his life dwelling on this in the first place. That's hilarious! How smart can you be if you do that? There's like some embedded recursive proof in his own research.

This is news? (4, Informative)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980894)

Mensa and testing agencies have been making it clear for a couple decades now that IQ only measures your ability to take tests.

While that's strongly correlated with general intelligence, it means nothing specific for a specific individual.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981104)

Mensa and testing agencies have been making it clear for a couple decades now that IQ only measures your ability to take tests.

[Citation Needed]

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], I am reading the exact opposite. At best, you would be correct if your assertion was that "the jury is still out" or "the studies show that there may or may not be a correlation with several unrelated factors to intelligence"

In other words, to quote the most incredible internet think tank [4chan.org], "lol wut?"

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981222)

Rules 1 and 2, fag.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981468)


Re:This is news? (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981190)

More than that, I would argue there's no such thing as "general intelligence." As far as I can tell, aptitude is fairly specific. Nobody's good at everything, even if some people look like it at first.

So, yeah, it's not the least bit surprising to me that people can be really good at finding the right choice on a test, but still make bad choices in real life. In fact, if you look close, you'll see it happening all the time.

Re:This is news? (3, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981192)

Mensa is itself the perfect example of what this discussion is all about. The organization is chock full of the most super-intelligent people...and yet the word "mensa" is spanish slang for "stupid female".

Re:This is news? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981302)

What does a specific translation of a word have bearing on? All it shows is you're being critical of a single interpretation of current slang. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensa [wikipedia.org] . I highly doubt anyone cares about or can predict beforehand the impact of something until someone takes it out of context. This is not due to IQ, this is to being an idiot in the current definition of. Or as put elsewhere by others, "the dumbest people you will ever see are the ones in upper management".

EG: dora aquapets. Maybe it sounded nice as a concept but they didn't realize it basically looks like a penis?

Re:This is news? (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981216)

I read this analogy yesterday, where you can think of level of intelligence like the brightness of a flashlight, what you choose to aim it at is another matter.

Fits rather will with Sagan's candle in the dark illustration.

Re:This is news? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981232)

Mensa and testing agencies have been making it clear for a couple decades now that IQ only measures your ability to take tests.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with that. When I was a kid (10, 11 maybe) I took a MENSA "entrance" exam and was subsequently accepted in with an IQ score that was almost off-the-charts. But I do NOT do well at most tests. I sucked at remembering stuff for undergrad/grad finals and consequently got bad grades in those classes while getting all A's in "practical" classes. The MENSA tests are easy for me because I don't have to remember 'facts' -- I just look for the patterns, do the math, etc, which is usually incredibly simple for me. I do agree with your second point though -- a high IQ means very different things for different people.

Re:This is news? (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981518)

Your IQ was "off the charts" because you were a 10 year old who wasn't a drooling moron.
IQ tests are rated by age.

If a 15 year old and a 25 year old give the same performance on the same test, the 15 year old's score is miles ahead of the 25 year old's score.

It's stupid.
It was put in place to pump out stories about child geniuses (to compete with Asia).

Re:This is news? (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981292)

There are many types of "smart" yet people want to lump it into a single word. Too bad he didn't read this quote in his 15 years of grappling with this subject:
"He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages;
so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on."
~ Benjamin Franklin

Re:This is news? (1)

hallucinogen (1263152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981300)

Mensa and testing agencies have been making it clear for a couple decades now that IQ only measures your ability to take tests.

IQ tests measure your puzzle solving skills.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981356)

No need to insult the superior people just because you were rejected...

Intelligence is not just about how fast neurons can process thoughts, but also how much stuff people know.

Mensa is well rounded and you can even train your brain for the tests. So go for it and join the club!

Re:This is news? (3, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981600)

No need to insult the superior people just because you were rejected...

It's annoying how Mensa people feel such a strong need to defend themselves against even the smallest accusations of Mensa not being all it's cracked up to be. (I am assuming you are in Mensa since you seem to be defending it for personal reasons.) It's kind of ugly to attack someone like that, and assume they are even interested in joining Mensa, while at the same time referring to yourself as "superior." This is the second time in the last week or so that I have seen such a reaction.

Re:This is news? (4, Insightful)

Blapto (839626) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981394)

It's not news that it's the case. The article isn't "A High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart", it's "Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart".

This is research into explaining the disparity, not proving or demonstrating that it exists.

Re:This is news? (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981426)

Mensa and testing agencies have been making it clear for a couple decades now that IQ only measures your ability to take tests.

Some people have even argued that IQ tests are to some degree cultural [gladwell.com]. But yeah, for one thing, taking tests is a skill in itself. There's usually a certain logic to the answers in multiple choice tests, for example, and knowing that logic can allow you to make good guesses even if you have no idea what the answer is. Essay questions are harder to fake, but a lot of times it boils down to giving the answer that the person who's evaluating the answer wants to hear. If you give a very intelligent answer that the teacher or TA hates, it's going to get marked wrong.

So there's such a thing as general test-taking ability, and then individual tests have their own skills. You can study for the SATs, and you can even study for a given model of IQ test.

But let's even assume you've successfully tested a person's "intelligence" in the sense of their memory, spacial sense, raw ability to crunch numbers, etc. That still doesn't account for their experience in a given situation, their moral judgement, or any number of other cognitive skills. You might have the highest IQ in the world and be great at understanding a math proof, but if my car breaks down I'm still going to trust a mechanic's judgement on what's broken before I trust yours. The mechanic will have more knowledge and experience about the particular subject matter. Likewise, I might not trust some half-autistic genius's advice on interpersonal relationships even if he's a brilliant physicist.

Re:This is news? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981460)

But yeah, for one thing, taking tests is a skill in itself. There's usually a certain logic to the answers in multiple choice tests, for example, and knowing that logic can allow you to make good guesses even if you have no idea what the answer is.

Definitely; I have known many very smart people who sucked at taking standardized tests. I like to think that I'm smart (well, I know I am), but I have a natural affinity for multiple choice tests that's let me breeze through things that people equally smart struggled through. Though now I'm not sure if that's ultimately hindered me.

Re:This is news? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981538)

"To me, going to the health club, you see all these people and they're working out, and they're training and they're getting in shape but the
strange thing is nobody is really getting in shape for anything. The only reason that you're getting in shape is that so you can get through the
workout. So we're working out, so that we'll be in shape, for when we have to do our exercise. This is the whole thing." - Seinfeld

It reminds me of the old saying (1, Interesting)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980920)

Book smart, Street stupid.
You can't buy or read about commonsense.

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (4, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980958)

I don't know, I think a fool reading most of the Discworld books would walk away with more sense than he started with.

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981120)

Or at least the feeling that you really can walk through the rain without getting wet.

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981450)

Or at least the feeling that you really can walk through the rain without getting wet.

Depends on what it's raining. If it's raining rocks [universetoday.com] then you can...

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981040)

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981174)

You are assuming people without commonsense will people will read it and taking something away from it.
I tend to think that will isn't going to happen, People are hard pressed in their belief structures.
First I can't see many people getting past there Anti-Beck feelings to even order/buy the book.
I would also say you will probably be modded down rather quick for posting anything Beck
Let the Flaming/Flogging begin.

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981236)

Erase the second "people" in first sentense.
Remove the "will" from the second sentense.
Ouch, I need to really use re-read stuff multiple times, my brain is tired and cloudy

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981374)

Erase the second "people" in first sentense.

I'm trying, but it's just getting bits of rubber all over my desk. Perhaps I should try white-out.

Also, you consistently misspelled "sentence", and I'm altogether not sure just what you meant to say instead of the word "use".

Re:It reminds me of the old saying (2, Insightful)

dintlu (1171159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981376)

"Street stupid" is a cop-out, and common sense has been proven again and again by psychologists to be a very poor decision making tool.

Instead, look at a high IQ as just one of the MANY factors that motivate a person's behavior. Emotions like love, greed and envy, self-esteem, past experiences both good and bad, and rational thought are all factored into the decisions we make every day. So a person can have boatloads of intelligence but is so greedy they fall for a 419 scam, financially ruining themselves. Or they're in love enough to stay in an unhealthy relationship and have a stroke from the stress. Or their self-esteem is so much in the gutter that they compulsively buy shit on QVC and eventually file for bankruptcy.

INT vs WIS (5, Funny)

PHPNerd (1039992) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980942)

Come on...everyone knows a high Intelligence score isn't the same as a high Wisdom score!

INT vs WIS... vs CHA (3, Funny)

oracleofbargth (16602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981052)

Theres also a reason the ability to schmooze is given its own stat. Where else would all the politicians put their high ability scores?

I knew this 25 years ago... (4, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980944)

When the GM at my first AD&D game explained the difference between INT and WIS....

Re:I knew this 25 years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981248)

what is the difference for the non AD&D person?

Re:I knew this 25 years ago... (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981432)

well, WIS and INT are both generally lower for non AD&D people, but the difference is the same.

Re:I knew this 25 years ago... (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981562)

well, WIS and INT are both generally lower for non AD&D people, but the difference is the same.

Though strength, dexterity, and charisma tend to be a lot higher...

Re:I knew this 25 years ago... (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981448)

I'm paraphrasing from a low-WIS memory, but "Intelligence" measures booksmarts and scholarly knowledge. "Wisdom" measures streetsmarts and insight.

Think high INT but low WIS is absent-minded professor. Low INT but high WIS could be someone with little formal education but a deep understanding of things around them.

Re:I knew this 25 years ago... (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981632)

Wisdom is "applied" knowledge. You can't be wise without some amount of knowledge.

But you can be wise without understanding (or being able to understand) complex math, abstractions, etc.

Intelligence vs Wisdom (4, Funny)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980956)

Any RPGer knows that Prof. Stanovich is attempting to correlate INT scores with WIS scores.

Silly scientist. No bonus priest spells for you.

/2nd Edition devotee

Re:Intelligence vs Wisdom (3, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981264)

Any RPGer knows that Prof. Stanovich is attempting to correlate INT scores with WIS scores.
Silly scientist. No bonus priest spells for you.

We don't need to guess who scored 3 for CHArisma.

I say this with some knowledge on the matter (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29980984)

As a member of mensa with a rather high IQ (160 on the cattel 3B), I know that my IQ is in at least the top percentile. However, my organisational skills are atrocious, and while I can remember something well short-term, I tend to forget things long-term. This led to my nearly dropping out of university because while I can write a decent essay, I often forgot to do so. Once I understand a mathematical concept I can do it well, but I tend to forget formulae, so I only got a middle-of-the-road grade in maths.

A high IQ means very little, and I'm not saying that because of jealousy; I'd rather be well-organised and "only" average in the more abstract ways of measuring ability.

Re:I say this with some knowledge on the matter (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981344)

Sounds more like poor organization skills and probably a bad work ethic. This is not evidence of stupidity. My IQ is in the top 0.1%. Yet until mid-20's, I was lazy as hell. Once I turned that around, life has become very easy. If I had to choose between IQ and work ethic, the work ethic would win out every time.

Why a high IQ doesn't mean you're smart ... (-1, Offtopic)

Morris Thorpe (762715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980986)

Pick me!
It is for the same reason this comment will be modded funny even though it's not?

Apples & Oranges (5, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980990)

An 'IQ' is quantitative. The term 'smart' is qualitative. Comparing them at all is like comparing ones 'income' with how 'rich' they are.

Smartest people I know are morons in some things (4, Interesting)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980994)

Friend of mine, his father is a senior researcher for NIH. One of the smartest fellas you will ever meet, has multiple PhDs, charming and really has his act together professionally.

Came back from a concert one night, there was a note taped to the door. "I owe you a microwave." Inside, the house smells like burning compost, his Dad still forgets he can't microwave food with a fork inside. Has never been able to operate a microwave oven and this is about the tenth time he has done it.

His Dad owns a lot of land in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has made a lot of money off real estate investments. He has had a lot of disasters over the years as well, for things that would have seemed apparent to anyone else. Like not leaving untreated wood lying in pile all winter, not parking a backhoe at the top of a pile of dirt, not purchasing residentail land and trying to have it rezoned for multilevel commercial, etc.

It's not just forgetfulness, he has a hard time processing these realities of life. Without his family, I don't think he could function.


F1rst Post!!!1!!11 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981012)

Wooo Mensa RULES!!!!

Duh... (1, Redundant)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981016)

I've known this for years. From playing D&D, I know that there are two stats for Intelligence and Wisdom for a reason. They aren't the same thing.

IQ (1)

Sumbius (1500703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981018)

IQ tests measure only certain predetermined parts of human brain capacity. The problem with IQ tests are that it is hard to create an universal definition of "intelligent", and thus, what to measure. There are also many things that affect the results of those tests like current emotions, how well your brain has experience in such tasks and level awareness. Anyway, Stern, who created the bases to modern IQ tests never meant those tests to be used to compare people and their level of intelligent. People have to remember that intelligent behavior, mathematic power, short term task memory, wisdom, experience, knowledge, social intelligent and many others are all different things. It is pretty much impossible to measure humans mental capacities in a way that they would be comparable to other people.

That's because IQ isn't everything. (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981020)

For some reason, people have associated high IQs with knowing a lot about everything. Unfortunately, knowledge and IQ is different, as is wisdom and IQ. Sheesh, first year D&D players can tell you this.

Corollary: just because you're smart and know a lot about one subject doesn't mean you're opinion on another subject matters. I'm always astounded by how many smart developers think that because they know ASP inside out that they also know which economic system is better.

Re:That's because IQ isn't everything. (2, Insightful)

Skippyboy (978787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981626)

I agree with this. I would go a step further and add in musicians and actors who think they know economics or politics. Shut and and entertain me you useless little monkeys. :-)

"Smart" is subjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981028)

A smart person agrees with my politics.

A smart person agrees with my taste in music, clothes and food.

Frankly this article is an editorial. It starts out dubiously and doesn't give me want to finish it.

No one ever claimed that an IQ test tests for anything more than it tests for. And "smart" is not one of the things it tests for.

Openness to ideas and creativity (4, Interesting)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981042)

Based on no research and absolutely no scientific data I have come to measure a person's intelligence by how creative they are and how open to new ideas (especially ideas in conflict with their own belief system) they are.
I am a conservative, white, heterosexual, Christian male (source of all the world's problems according to many) and yet I understand that there are things I am probably wrong about and there are people who have radically different beliefs than I do and I can definitely learn from them. I consider myself pretty intelligent and yet understanding that I can learn from others is very key to my intelligence growing.

People who have closed their minds to new thoughts/ideas and who do not exercise their creative potential get stupid fast. I have met a LOT of them (in my white, hetero, Christian, male society) and I am the first to admit that my peers tend to be pretty dumb. TFL starts off bashing on George Bush and how his IQ is pretty high yet the author has obviously decided Bush is an idiot (an earned reputation) and he fits right into my category of society.

What I feel is important to note is that in American progressive society MY ethnicity/religion/political views/gender quickly get thrown into a category that I really don't thing I've earned. I try not to complain of racism/sexism/whateverelseism but it gets old some times.

Western IQ Box (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981064)

I find that our "advanced" tests, such as the Wechsler IQ, provide a quite narrow and ethnocentric view of intelligence. Many "underdeveloped societies have multiple scales for measuring intelligence that our tests don't even touch on, such as social skills and dexterity.

You may now proceed with the gaming and nerd humor jokes.

Re:Western IQ Box (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981412)

Um, how is dexterity a measure of intelligence? Nobody claims that IQ relates to your ability to relate to people emotionally or juggle, so I don't see what your post has to do with anything.

GiGo (4, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981084)

Just like computers, people are susceptible to the Garbage in, Garbage out phenomenon. If you learn the wrong stuff, you're still smart, but you will make bad decisions.

Re:GiGo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981608)

"We taught him karate wrong, as a joke. He thinks that the winner is the one who bleed most."

IQ doesn't measure common sense. (0)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981118)

In the Army it was a cliche (but mostly true) that the higher IQ (or score on the ASVAB) the soldier, the likelier he was to do remarkably stupid things.

This is because, in my experience, the more intelligent are more likely to wonder "What happens if I do this and then do it. This being some variant of (as Daffy Duck said) "Don't EVER push the wed one!"

Re:IQ doesn't measure common sense. (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981442)

This being some variant of (as Daffy Duck said) "Don't EVER push the wed one!"

Sounds more like Elmer Fudd to me.

Elmer said "What happens if I push the wed one?" (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981498)

And Daffy (who was selling an early home automation system) replied "Don't EVER push the wed one!"

Later, after Elmer pushed it and discovered it was an automatic house elevator to get out of the way of tsunamis, Daffy came by and offered to install a little blue button to get Elmer down.

High IQ & being smart (3, Funny)

xclay (924789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981140)

A real smart person would've known this and disregarded IQ scores long ago, but some people with high IQ scores may have propped up their self-respect with the results and probably neglected to nurture their smarts...

Sorry Keith (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981146)

You took 15 years to realize that all an IQ test can measure is IQ? Didn't it seem a bit obvious? I mean, how smart would you have to be to make a test that actually measured intelligence? How would you grade it?

The word we're looking for here (2, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981170)

is "wisdom".

The opposite of "foolish" is not "smart". The opposite of "foolish" is "wise".

See also "book-smart" v. "street-smart", INT v. WIS (in D&D et al.), and the role of irrational thinking in decision processes [slashdot.org].

Re:The word we're looking for here (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981332)

Wisdom is just the ability to make good decisions based on the information you have.

Of course, this doesn't mean that your information is good.

I would rather be attractive than have a high IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981172)

I would much rather be attractive to women than have a high IQ, if I had to pick one...

Being attractive to the opposite sex is actually a much better indicator than IQ of your "success" in life...

It's true (4, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981186)

My brother-in-law is one of the smartest people I know. Earned his PhD in optical physics and does some very high-level work with it. Way above the head of anybody he explains it to. He's written some pretty intense C++ programs to handle neural-network computations of extremely complicated mathematical problems.

But I can't count how many cellphones he's destroyed from accidental drops from his shirt pocket into the toilet. And a few times he lost his keys for a week because he left them hanging in the door lock.

He's a smart guy, but sometimes we wonder about him.

Re:It's true (2, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981594)

Yes, good example. I have a friend similar to yours. PhD and very smart. But coordination problems like those seen in someone with mild MS(Multiple Schlerosis), yet tests reveal nothing. That is, generally clumsy but can get thru life fine. He is 42 but must walk, as he knows if he drove someone would be killed.

He is a good table tennis player too, yet has impeded ability:

- Cannot use a tin opener
- Fumbles for upto 30 seconds trying to get a key in a lock
- Must tip a fried egg from the pan, as using a spatula is impossible.
- Difficulty get dishes into dish washer.

I was a representative table tennis player for my region, yet he could give me a run for my money. Its the wierdest thing.

Sigh...editors. (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981198)

Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart?

They're still smart, but even smart people can do dumb things. That's why it's important to be clear with phrases like "You are dumb" and "That was dumb." (I have finger puppets if the /. editors are confused about this...)

Hi IQ can be a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981210)

High IQ is no benefit on the job; once you have the minimum required. More education also does not help. If the job's basic requirement is a PEng., having a Masters or PhD does you no good.

Over the years, there have been many studies supporting the above statement. The latest I have noticed is the Harvard Longitudinal Study of Adult Development. It started studying a group of Harvard students in 1942 and it is still ongoing. The ONLY reliable predictor that they could find, for almost any outcome, is the nature of a person's relationships as a child and as a young adult. Social class, intelligence, or anything else that they could think of, couldn't be used to predict a person's outcomes: income, social status, marriage, health, etc., etc.

Debate (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981212)

In college we always had the debate of wisdom vs intelligence. Not to be confused with street smarts. There are some very simple individuals that show great wisdom in their decisions but are exceptionally forgetful and terrible at logistics.

My take was always that it dealt with creative side of reasoning and humility. I am terrible at memorizing but have been called a wise decision maker by many people better than I. I like to think it is because I see a choice and consider ramifications before the decision is made, is there a way to avoid some long term effects, is there a way to shift things in favor of the larger picture. This works for personal choices as well as business ones.

One of my favorite quotes... (4, Insightful)

Headw1nd (829599) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981276)

Intelligence is a tool to be used toward a goal, and goals are not always chosen intelligently. -Larry Niven

IQ is not the same as EQ (4, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981282)

IQ measures raw mental abilities. It's a bit like measuring raw CPU power and memory in a computer.

EQ (Emotional Quotient) measures things like self-motivation abilities (including things like optimism), self-control and inter-personal abilities. They're a bit like measuring the quality of the software that runs in a computer and how well it works together with other programs in the network.

[Sorry, no car metaphors]

In real life, even though a large IQ will allow you to solve incredibly complex problems, if you have a low EQ, you might actually be incapable of doing so because, for example:

  • Low self-motivation means you give up too easy unless constantly rewarded
  • Lack of self-control means you constantly get side-tracked with other "interesting things" not directly related to solving the main problem
  • Difficulty with relating with others means that you will either never be assigned the big problems to solve in the first place or will have trouble communicating the solution at the end. Also if the problem is not fully and clearly defined up-front (like the vast majority of real-world problems) you will have trouble with getting more information from others

In the end, a high EQ is much more highly correlated with success than a high IQ.

Simply put, being optimistic means you're more willing to take chances (which might eventually result in a big payout), being self-motivated means that you can keep going even when things are though, having self-control means you can deny yourself a small reward now for a much bigger one later and being good with people means you can more easily find the chances and convince others to work with you.

That said, the good news is that one can change one's own EQ over one's life - most of its component are behavioral traits that can be learned.

Known this for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981358)

I have a first class university degree in electronics, however, while I would argue that I have a high degree of emotional intelligense I can be completely and utterly backwards in terms of common sense.

Newton is a classic example (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981400)

We're all familiar with Isaac Newton's brilliant accomplishments, but his superstitious beliefs are less well-known. The most interesting one is his fascination with the number seven. (That's why we have ROY G BIV instead of ROYGBV; Newton thought there SHOULD be a seventh color and included it despite the fact that the human eye doesn't see it as particularly distinct from its neighbors.)

People just work differently (3, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981406)

My ex-wife had an amazing memory. She could remember names and phone numbers of people she had only met once. She could remember all the SKU numbers when she worked part time at Sears. When she got her RN license, she filled her head with drug information and could spout interactions on request.

But she wasn't so good at things like programming a VCR or directions. I noticed that while she had a great memory, she was terrible at spatial type tasks. Where I was just the opposite ... I have a terrible memory but can write code like crazy because I can keep several parts of a program in my head and understand the requirements, interactions, and dependencies. I never memorized math formulas, but the idea behind them.

Cooking was very telling. I'm a passable cook, but not very inventive. She was a better cook, but had problems when she had to cook more than a couple of items at a time in getting the sequence of the various recipes merged so that everything was ready at the same time. That part, I was very good at.

The telling point came one day when we were talking about taxes. We owed a lot because she had started working part time as an RN and we didn't pay attention to the amount being withheld from her paycheck for taxes. When I did the taxes normally, i.e. married filing jointly, we owed $3,000. She came back to me a few days later and said that if she filed as married, filing separately, she would get $1,000 back. I explained that I always did our taxes both ways and then when we did it that way, she did get $1,000 back, but I ended up owing $5,000. I was never able to get her to understand how the tax brackets worked and why this was the case. So I gave in and took it to HR Block. Guess what, the best way to file was married, filing jointly. For years she thought I was trying to cheat her out of money and refused to increase her withholding to the same percent of income as mine, so I had to withhold even more from mine. Which meant she had to put more into the household account in order to pay bills, so the end result was the same anyway.

As I told my son at the time ... there are some battles that just aren't worth fighting. Because even if you win ... you lose.

I remarried three years ago, and my lovely wife can talk with me about such matters. It's a wonderful thing to find someone that is smart, beautiful, and thinks sex is only dirty when it's done right.

Amen (5, Funny)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981410)

I know a guy in Mensa who was genuinely surprised that I stopped talking to him after he hit on my wife and tried to talk her into divorcing me.

I don't think it's occurred to him yet that she and I actually speak to each other.

Inverse Correlation (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981512)

In my first job, as a teen, an older woman there told me that the "more book learning someone has, the less common sense they've got." Only on the rare anomalous occasion have I seen her proven wrong. I work at a Uni and I've seen people with 2 and 3 PHDs not be able to work a remote or walk away from their car with a door open and the keys still in it.

It is, IMHO, a rare genius who has both, common sense and intelligence.

Just what I've already said (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981520)

"IQ" measures the ability to do well on IQ tests... no more, no less. It is in no way a predictor of success, with the exception of success in taking other types of tests. I'm a living example of someone with the ability to score over 99th percentile in intelligence tests, but still lacking in common sense (case in point: I'm wasting my time posting to slashdot!)

High IQ DOES mean you're smart... (5, Interesting)

TheLuggage2008 (1199251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29981536)

It doesn't, however, mean you're observant, grounded, emotionally stable, possess common sense, have even average social skills, or even an interest in using your intelligence for anything of consequence.

TFA references G. W. Bush, stating his IQ is estimated to be at or around 120 but even those close to him had concerns about his decision making skills, and "Bush himself has described his thinking style as "not very analytical"." Seems to me this is connected far more to his personality, shaped by his upbringing and experiences. IQ is an indicator of intellectual potential; if someone tests consistently in the 70 - 80 range, no amount of positive thinking or assistance is getting you through medical school; if someone tests in the 160 - 180 range (let's assume an accepted standardized scale, such as Wechsler), this indicates that academically there is nothing they are not capable of understanding if they applied themselves. That doesn't mean it's reasonable to assume someone with that level of intelligence *will* become a doctor or the like, only that if circumstances are right, they *could*.

It is not unusual for people with high IQs to fall short of their potential for myriad reasons, the one I think is most impactful is the significant difference between intellectually gifted (meant generically) and the average person. To qualify for organizations like Mensa, you need to be 2 standard deviations ahead of the average in intelligence, which is the same difference between the average person and someone considered to be retarded. People who are that far removed from the median (on either side of the scale) experience the world in a very different and often times alienating way. Perhaps the perceived "stupidity" of people with high IQs is simply the manifestation of their inability to communicate effectively with "little brains".

While many people with high IQs are perfectly functional and move among us unnoticed as braniacs,(Mensa members must be in the 98% percentile of the population which sounds lofty, but it means that roughly one in every 50 people are smart enough to make the cut, so you probably have a better shot at getting into Mensa than you do of winning a beauty pageant) some people with high IQs may never learn how to interact successfully with those around them... robbing them of the kinds of experiences that teach the very skills TFA suggests smart people don't manifest in a consistent manner.

Raw brain power isn't enough to guarantee success or even a base level of competence at anything, including living.

informat1ve bitchbitch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29981636)

would choose to use to work I'm doing, to decline for When I stood 7or be 'very poorly goodbye...she had are about 7000/5
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